Monday, January 24, 2011

The start of a new chapter

There are probably a few things you should know about me right from the beginning. Alright, there are a great number of things you might need to know (especially if you were to converse with any of my very dear, but very honest, friends), but I have no desire to overwhelm you so close to the start. First and foremost, you should know that I can, at times, be slightly stubborn.

There. I said it. I admitted it. Although God has seen fit to bless me with a great number of blessings and talents, there are quite a few character-building qualities I was not granted. Patience is one of those traits. Humility would be another. I am dedicated, I am loyal. I commit to the things in my life 100% and see them through to the end. However, being able to take a step back from that dedication and realize that I am wrong or, even worse, recognizing that someone else is right, is not always the easiest thing for me to do. So the idea of putting myself out there, making myself transparent for a world full of strangers, and openly admitting to my (daily) transgressions was not overly appealing.

Second, I have yet to include the word 'no' in my vocabulary. Perhaps it is my ever-present need for approval and success that drives me to take on  more than any normal person can handle, but I constantly find myself with more items on my to-do list than I have time to dedicate to said list. I blame my mother. Not in a negative way, but in a the-woman-can-do-anything-and-can-take-on-anything-and-everything-she-comes-across type way. My family is driven on motivations and achievement. We take on the world and don't stop until we are so exhausted we can not take another step.

Unfortunately that pace and lifestyle has recently come back to bite me. Those who know me well are aware that I have struggled with anxiety issues my entire life; I hide them quite well, typically only my closest friends who have known me a while are aware of how pervasive these problems can be a times. However, in the past few months as my health has suffered (and my insomnia worsened), I have come to the realization that I need to start using the word 'no' more often, and take time to myself to relax.

All this is to say, when I felt God nudging at my heart to start a public blog as I enter this next phase of my life, I was not too enthralled at the idea.

I'm no stranger to internet journaling; in fact throughout the end of high school and a good portion of my undergraduate years I had a 'livejournal' that I frequented quite regularly. It was a great way to stay in touch with friends as we all went our separate ways, a tool for chronicling my daily happenings, and later, an emotional outlet for dealing with my anxiety and depression. Yet, over time my willingness to openly share my thoughts and opinions came back to hurt me as the information fell into the hands of those who were careless with the power it wielded, and as life took so many twists and turns I began to wonder if these happenings were events I would want to remember in the future.

You should also know that I have a thing for metaphorical attributions in my daily life. My past journals became a symbol for the pain and strife I had experienced while they were in use, and I felt the need to wipe the slate clean, to start anew.

So I was hesitant when I felt that little nudge. I know my life will be far busier than anything I have ever experienced as I begin my internship next week (see future posts for explanation of that!). I know I will be entering a season of my life that will incorporate a lot of growth, but with growth comes challenges and learning opportunities. Do I really feel comfortable sharing my struggles with an unknown audience? I had gone that route before and look where it had left me!

I put the thought aside, figuring it was one of those fleeting ideas that would pass with time. I smiled when I saw another child life intern student start her own blog (using similar premises). I shrugged off the blog posts that seemed to write themselves in my mind before I could stop.  I ignored the chapter in my devotional book that  talked about journaling being a great outlet for releasing tensions and troubles.

Yet when a close friend mentioned in passing last night (Completely unaware) "you know, you should really start a blog. I have a feeling the experiences you are going to encounter over the next few months could really touch a lot of people's lives", I decided it was probably time to stop ignoring God and take a leap of faith.

So there we are. A (long-winded) explanation of how we got to this point. To all of you who may end up taking this journey with me, I ask for your prayers and patience as we stumble along this path. I ask for your prayers that I may truly humble my heart and listen for God's direction, and your patience through my stubbornness (and occasional grammatical slips).

God doesn't call the equipped... he equips the called. Let's hope those words prove true!

God Bless.

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Thanks for taking this journey with me! I always love to hear your thoughts and promise to respond whenever possible.